Response to the NAO report on HS2

The NAO is right to point out that the majority of the benefits of HS2 will be delivered by phase two of the scheme, the Y-shape connecting Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, which is why any move to downgrade or cancel this section would be little more than gesture politics.

Responding to the NAO report on HS2, Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Lead, said:

“The NAO is right to point out that the majority of the benefits of HS2 will be delivered by phase two of the scheme, the Y-shape connecting Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, which is why any move to downgrade or cancel this section would be little more than gesture politics.

“While it is right to scrutinise major infrastructure investments, the failure to properly forecast costs and time is seen across numerous projects in the UK, not least Crossrail, and yet it is a scheme which will principally benefit the North which is now under threat.

“Failure to deliver HS2 in full, would do nothing to transform the way this country approaches major infrastructure investments but would rob the North of England of the additional rail capacity it desperately needs, the thousands of jobs this project will support and the economic growth it will generate.”

A copy of the report can be found on the National Audit Office website (opens in new tab).